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Nebraska Criminal Law Questions

When do I need an attorney?

Any time you become involved in a criminal investigation, either as a witness or possible suspect, it is advisable to consult with an attorney before you make any verbal or written statements to law enforcement officials.

What are my rights when an officer wants to question me?

You always have the right to remain silent. However, the law enforcement officials do not need to remind you of that right until they have placed you under arrest or taken you into custody. Usually they have already elicited numerous incriminating statements from you before they advise you of your right to have an attorney present.

What amount of alcohol has to be in my blood before I can be arrested for DUI?

In the State of Nebraska, the legal limit is .10. Any amount over .10 means that you can be arrested and charged with "driving under the influence". The amount that any one individual can consume before being over the limit is generally unknown until after you have been arrested and tested. There are a great number of factors, which can effect your alcohol absorption rate, and there is no safe answer for any individual as to an exact amount of alcohol you can consume and still safely drive a motor vehicle.

Do I actually have to be driving?

No, you just need to be in physical control of the vehicle. People have been convicted where they were asleep in their car, with the engine off and the keys in their "immediate physical control".

What are the penalties for DUI in the State of Nebraska?

First Conviction: Mandatory minimum seven days imprisonment, $400 fine, and six-month loss of license; maximum 60 days imprisonment, $500 fine and six-month license suspension; OR probation which would include a mandatory 60-day license suspension and $400 fine.

Second Conviction: Mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment, $500 fine, and one year license suspension; OR probation which would include a mandatory six-month license suspension and 48 hours imprisonment and a $500 fine.

Third Conviction: Mandatory minimum of 90 days imprisonment, $600 fine, and 15-year suspension; OR probation which would include a mandatory one-year license suspension and seven days imprisonment and a $600 fine.

Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: This is considered a felony with a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and /or $10,000 fine and a 15-year license suspension.

How long does it take before the DUI comes off my driving record?

Twelve years.

What happens if I refuse to submit to a breath test?

The State of Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles will automatically revoke your driving privileges for one year. There will be no work permits or other allowances during that one-year period. The penalties for refusal to submit to a breath or chemical test in Court are the same as the DUI penalties set out above. Refusing the breath test on a first offense will make you have a longer period of suspension through the Department of Motor Vehicles than what even the Court could impose.

Can I get a driver's license just to drive to work if my license is suspended?

Work permits are just one of several different options available to a person whose license has been suspended. Those options vary depending on the reason for the suspension. For example, if the license was suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol, you may be allowed to have an interlock device installed on your vehicle.

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